Historic places

Houston's newest historic district: Germantown is recognized as an area worth preserving

Houston's newest historic district: Germantown is recognized as an area worth preserving

Germantown, December 2012, 211 E. Woodland
211 E. Woodland Photo courtesy of Houston Planning & Development Department
Germantown, historic district, boundary map, December 2012
The Germantown Historic District is a small wedge of land bordered by Houston Avenue to the west, I-45 to the north and east and Woodland Park to the south.  Map courtesy of Houston Planning & Development Department
Germantown, December 2012, 101 Parkview
The home at  101 Parkview, pictured, is just one of the historically-significant structures in the area.  Photo courtesy of Houston Planning & Development Department
Germantown, December 2012, 129 Payne
Of the 71 structures in Germantown Historic District, 83 percent were built more than 50 years ago. Pictured is the home at 129 Payne.  Photo courtesy of Houston Planning & Development Department
Germantown, December 2012, 211 E. Woodland
Germantown, historic district, boundary map, December 2012
Germantown, December 2012, 101 Parkview
Germantown, December 2012, 129 Payne

The Houston enclave known as Germantown has seen a number of changes, from its beginnings as an immigrant farming community in the late 1800s to, most recently, a distinction as a City of Houston Historic District, a measure approved by the Houston City Council on Wednesday. 

Bounded by Houston Avenue to the west, I-45 to the north and east and Woodland Park to the south, the Grota Homestead Neighborhood comprises the remaining Germantown, which was originally bordered by North Main to the east before the construction of the interstate highway in the 1960s. 

That division brought on years of decline, but a recent revitalization effort on the part of residents has helped to re-emphasized the area's historic importance. 

 The heavily-residential district is made up of 71 structures — and 83 percent of them are more than half a century old. 

 The heavily-residential district is made up of 71 structures, a mix of bungalows and homes with Craftsman, American Four Square, Queen Anne and Colonial Revival architectural details — and 83 percent of them are more than half a century old. 

The City of Houston's approval leads the neighborhood to the next step in historical designation: Listing as a locally-significant historic district in the National Register of Historic Places, which will help protect the area and its significant buildings from the Texas Department of Transportation's proposed widening of the I-45 corridor.  

"Property owners in the newly designated Germantown Historic District can now breathe a sigh of relief that their historic homes are now protected and the architectural character of their neighborhood will be maintained," said Wendy Parker, chairman of the Germantown Historic District, in a statement.

"We are preserving Houston's history and know this designation will benefit the District and City for years to come."